As the weather cools our gardens exchange the watery plants of summer with complex carbohydrates in the form of root vegetables which grow underground, safely beneath the elements of fall and winter. For many months, these tasty treats will adorn our plates and palates with jewel tones and earthy, but sweet flavors keeping us warm and well throughout the cold and flu season. Root vegetables including carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, rutabagas and sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients and fibers that lower inflammation and blood cholesterol levels, as well as reduce the risks of cancer and diabetes too. Though carbohydrate in nature, root vegetables promote healthy blood sugars and body weights by providing nutrient-rich complex carbohydrates that provide necessary fuel and prevent sugar-cravings.
Root vegetables are vitamin and mineral rich protecting major organs as well as nerves, teeth and bones. Beets are even potent blood detoxifiers. How wonderful those great tasting foods are good for you too! This fall and winter, I encourage you to think outside of the box when it comes to root vegetables. Allow them to replace less nutritious starches like pasta, rice, white potatoes and flour while healthfully satisfying all of your comfort-food needs. Not only will your taste buds be glad, but your immune system will reward you with excellent health this season.
Enjoy these roasted roots paired with an arugula salad with goat’s cheese. The colors and flavors of fall are here!
- 1 pound beets, peeled, halved or quartered
- 1/2 pound carrots, peeled, cut in half
- 1 pound turnips, peeled, halved or quartered
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Balsamic vinegar for drizzling, optional
Preheat oven to 400°F.
1. Place beets, carrots, and turnips in a bowl.
2. Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Toss with vegetables.
3. Spread in a single layer on a roasting pan.
4. Roast for 1 hour or until browned or caramelized.
5. Remove from oven and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.